Black Farmers Begin Pigford Claims Applications

African-American farmers lined up on Martin Luther King Day to talk with attorneys about compensation following the Pigford settlement signed by the Obama Administration. Dennis Fullwood came from a family of sharecroppers that leased land in Duplin County, NC, but they had to cease production after 25 years because of an inability to secure funding from the USDA for land or new equipment. Now, he just wants a chance to gain something his family lost:

“Maybe in a small way to be able to pick up some pieces that we might have, could have had if we had had the opportunities just like the white farmers which we’ll never be able to”

In 2010, President Obama signed a bill awarding $1.15 billion dollars to African-American farmers to settle claims that USDA discriminated against them.

Onions Root Problem

The crop of sweet Vidalia onions will be harvested in about three months, but if you plan on buying some you may want to open a line of credit at the bank. There will be very few of the onions this year. As Reporter Pete Combs explains, farmers say the root problem is a tough new Georgia immigration law:

"Georgia's touch new immigration law kept lots of fruit and vegetable pickers away last year and millions of dollars of crops rotted in the fields. With no change on the immigration landscape, producers are afraid it will happen again this year. So they have taken steps to cut losses. For one thing, they planted fewer Vidalia onions, and they warn prices are about to skyrocket."

New Beef and Pork Nutrition Labels on the Way

Federal rules require that specific meat and poultry products carry new nutrition information. So, the beef and pork industries are working to provide those new Nutrition Facts labels. They have until March 1st to complete their tasks. The information contained on those labels is based on two nutrient data sets provided by USDA scientists. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.